No jail time for men involved in high-speed chase that left Langley boy with catastrophic injuries

Click to play video: 'Men avoid jail time in Langley hit-and-run' Men avoid jail time in Langley hit-and-run
WATCH: Two men have avoided jail time in a plea deal in a tragic crash that left a 12-year-old boy with lingering injuries. Matteus Pauls continues to live with the effects of a fateful day in 2017 when he was hit as one man chased another over some stolen tools from a construction site. They blew through a stop sign at 40th Avenue and 204th Street, hitting Pauls. Rumina Daya reports. – Mar 24, 2022

The family of a B.C. teen struck and seriously hurt by a car involved in a chase through city streets five years ago says the men responsible received a “slap on the wrist” for their conduct.

David Batista, 54, and Brandon Hoolsema, 32, were sentenced Thursday in the incident, with neither seeing jail time.

Both men pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, and were given suspended sentences of two years less a day, to be served in the community, along with one-year driving bans and a requirement to enter a DNA registry, following a joint submission from Crown and defence.

Read more: 12-year-old boy taken to hospital after Langley hit and run

“These guys are getting two years less a day, slap on the wrist right? We get a life sentence,” Sean Pauls, the victim’s father, told Global News.

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“It’s difficult to go through all that and then basically know these guys can walk out of their houses any time they want.”

Matteus Pauls, now 16 years old, was riding his bike in front of his Langley school near 204 Street and 40 Avenue on Oct. 4, 2017 when he was struck by a Mazda Tribute Batista.

Batista was being pursued by Hoolsema, who the court heard was trying to make a citizens arrest over allegations Batista had stolen some construction tools.

Click to play video: '12-year-old in hospital after civilian pursuit of thieves' 12-year-old in hospital after civilian pursuit of thieves
12-year-old in hospital after civilian pursuit of thieves – Oct 4, 2017

The chase saw the vehicles at points reach speeds of over 100 km/h, before Pauls was hit in a 50 km/h zone — being knocked out of his shoes.

The then-12-year-old suffered catastrophic injuries, including a broken leg, collarbone and shoulder, nerve damage, a hole in his abdomen and the loss of a kidney. He has since undergone 10 surgeries.

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“It’s good, but it’s still not how it used to be, I wish it was better,” the teen said of his health since the crash.

Read more: 3 men charged in alleged hit-and-run pursuit that left 12-year-old boy with serious injuries

“It just sucks because I have all of these injuries and went through hell in the hospital, and they get two years of whatever.”

Both men had initially been charged with dangerous driving causing bodily harm, but plead guilty to the lesser charge.

The court heard that the incident was Hoolsema’s first criminal offence, but that Batista had a history of property crime.

Both men, their lawyers said, had expressed remorse for the incident.

-With files from Rumina Daya

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